How to Activate Your Apple Watch Step Counter

The easy way to make sure you hit 10,000 steps a day

An older couple on a hill in the countryside looking at a smartwatch

 Halfpoint Images/Getty Images

The Apple Watch is a great exercise and fitness tool for when you want to know just how much physical effort you've been putting into your day. While most other fitness wearables provide feedback via how many steps you've walked or ran, the Apple Watch favors its Activity Rings instead. There are ways to see how many steps you've taken, though. Here's how to track of your steps on Apple Watch.

This guide works for all Apple Watch versions, including Series 0, Series 1, Series 2, Series 3, and Series 4. 

How to Activate the Apple Watch Pedometer

Don't worry about activating the pedometer feature, as you don't actually need to do anything to track the steps you've taken while wearing your Apple Watch.  The Apple Watch does this automatically and displays the figures as part of the Activity app's Activity Rings feature. 

How to Check Your Steps on Apple Watch

The Apple Watch step counter (or pedometer) is a hidden away feature amongst the Activity Rings. Here's how to 'activate' it and see the steps you've taken. 

  1. Press the Digital Crown of your Apple Watch. 

    If your watch face has an Activity complication, you can also tap it to go directly to Activity. 

  2. Tap Activity.

  3. Scroll down to see the statistics of your day's activity. 

    The Apple Watch Activity App
  4. Scroll past the Move/Exercise/Stand statistics until you get to Total Steps.

This section also tells you the total distance you've walked, as well as how many flights of stairs you've climbed.

How to Check Your Step Counter on iPhone 

When your Apple Watch is paired and near your iPhone, you can also check how many steps you've taken through it.

  1. Tap Activity

  2. Scroll down past the Activity Rings to the bottom of the screen. 

  3. The steps you've taken are presented underneath your Stand achievements. The total distance you've walked and flights of stairs you've climbed is also included.

    The Apple iPhone Activity App

How to View Your Weekly Summary of Steps Walked

It's convenient to be able to see how many steps you've walked in the past week. There's a quick way of doing that from your Apple Watch. 

  1. Press the Digital Crown to unlock your Apple Watch.

    Or go straight to Activity from your watch face's complication, if it has an Activity complication.

  2. Tap Activity.

  3. Force Touch the Activity Rings.

  4. Tap Weekly Summary.

  5. Scroll down to view the total steps you've taken this week so far. 

    Viewing Weekly Summary on the Apple Watch Activity App

You can also see the distance you've traveled, calories you've actively burned, and the number of flights of stairs you've climbed.

How to View the History of Your Steps

Want to check how many steps you've taken on previous days? It's not possible to do so on your Apple Watch, but here's how to do it through your iPhone.

  1. Tap Activity.

  2. Tap the Month you're currently on.

  3. Choose a day of the week.

    Alternatively, you can scroll up to choose a day from a different month.

  4. Tap the day, then scroll down to the bottom to see the total steps taken, along with distance, and stairs climbed.

    Apple iPhone Activity App

How to Share Your Apple Watch Step Total With Others

Want to share how much you've walked with someone? Well, it's not actually possible to directly share how many steps you've taken using the iPhone's Share feature. The feature solely shares the Activity Ring, rather than any detailed statistics. 

Instead, take a screenshot of your steps total and share it manually. It's an awkward way of doing it, but at least you can show off to your friends just how long your day's hike was.